What is an Annulment?

Annulment is a very different proposition than a divorce. An annulment is a process by which a marriage is treated as if it had never occurred in the first place. Typically, Arizona annulments will be granted if there is a legal reason that the marriage should have never happened. In an annulment, the court will seek to put the parties in the same position as if the marriage had never occurred. This proposition is far easier said than done, especially if significant property rights or minor children are involved. Are you uncertain whether your specific situation qualifies for annulment versus divorce? The experienced and skillful Tucson annulment lawyers at Dorris Law Group stand ready to answer your questions about the annulment process and pursue your annulment if necessary.

Guidelines for Annulment In Arizona

In most cases where an annulment is granted in Arizona, the spouses are in agreement as to having their marriage annulled. Courts routinely grant the parties’ mutual petitions to have their marriage annulled, provided that adequate legal grounds exist for the annulment. However, if one spouse objects to the annulment, then there is a hearing on the issue and there must be a valid and compelling reason for the annulment. Let the accomplished Arizona annulment attorneys at Dorris Law Group be your advocate.

Annulment and Alimony

The advantage of an annulment is that the marriage never existed. Thus there are no grounds for alimony. Unfortunately, the spouses may have joint property and debts that will need to be dealt with. Similarly, if children were born during the voided marriage, a paternity action may be required.

Grounds For Annulment In Arizona

Arizona’s annulment law provides that superior courts may dissolve a marriage, and may adjudge a marriage to be null and void, when the alleged cause constitutes an impediment rendering the marriage void. Among the grounds on which contested annulments may be granted are:

  • Fraud or misrepresentation: With regard to one’s personal or financial history to induce an agreement to marry
  • Incapacity due to intoxication: If the affected spouse was so intoxicated from alcohol or drugs so as to not know what he or she was doing
  • Inability to consummate the marriage: Inability to perform sexually or refusal to engage in sexual activity after the marriage
  • Underaged spouse: In Arizona, the age for consent for marriage is 18, or, 16 with parental consent
  • Incestuous marriage: Marriage between parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, brothers and sisters, and first cousins
  • Same-sex marriage: These are not recognized in Arizona as of 2013
  • Mental illness or incapacity: Persons with severe mental illness may not have the requisite cognitive ability to enter into a marriage
  • Bigamy: When one of the spouses is still married to someone else
  • Unlicensed officiant: If the person who performed the ceremony is not licensed by the state where the marriage occurred, it is voidable

Get Legal Advice From an Experienced Tucson Family Law Attorney

Even if your marriage is annulled, there still may be extremely important issues that must be addressed. Orders involving child custody, child support, and division of property and debt are just a few. Contact the Arizona annulment attorneys at Dorris Law Group for a free, confidential consultation on whether annulment is right for you. Call us at 520-622-4866 today.